Connected Vehicles India Requirements

Alexander Klotz, Head  Technical Center India, Continental Automotive IndiaThe rapid advancement in technology is greatly changing the way different sectors work including transportation. Vehicles, passenger or commercial, have become much more than just a mode to get from one place to another. The digital advancements and fast evolving lifestyles of consumers have necessitated safer, cleaner and connected vehicles. It is safe to say that the Indian auto sector is standing at the cusp of an incoming technological revolution.

The focus, with recent government mandates, is on safety technologies first, slowly steering towards intelligent mobility solutions to create an ecosystem that will act efficiently and hence, allow integration of technology with the existing infrastructure.

Connected Vehicles the Future?
Slated to one among the top three auto markets in the world, India is emerging as the next big frontier for connected automobiles. Connectivity features to ensure, improved vehicle interface, passenger and vehicle safety,better performance, efficiency, and emission compliance is fast becoming a standard norm. In India, it is estimated that almost all new models have some primary forms of connectivity, the acceptance and demand for the same is poised to rise exponentially in the coming years.

Connected vehicles offer multiple services like navigation, media, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication for safety/improved efficiency, vehicle tracking and remote diagnostics. It aims and has the potential to solve some of the biggest challenges in the country, primarily safety and rising emission concerns.

In the age of smartphones, an immediate impact of connected technologies will be the seamless integration of our phones to the vehicle Human Machine Interface (HMI) systems to minimise distraction while driving. Technological advancement with richer displays, natural language interaction and things like heads up display aid in better interface and lower distraction.

How can India Facilitate this Transition?
While the market for connected vehicles in India is on the rise the infrastructure and ecosystem need to
go hand in hand. Auto Component Suppliers would play a very important role in enabling this move. There is a need to upgrade the manufacturing systems in the auto components sector and to be ready to adapt to new technologies by improving design capabilities. There is also a huge requirement of sensor and clean energy solutions to be able to fund the upcoming vehicle connectivity concepts.

Established players also need to start encouraging new companies to partner with them through incubators etc. Customers are also interested in adopting new technologies. There will be a felt need to replace old technology with new ones.

A reliable source of 5G connectivity can dramatically impact the capabilities of connected vehicles

Telecommunications and informatics service providers will also play a major role as they need to collaborate with specific solutions for automotive applications. Telecom service providers in the county will also need to up their game and offer seamless data services and network. A reliable source of 5G connectivity can dramatically impact the capabilities of connected vehicles. The same will play a significant role in enabling vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication at a pace and capacity that was not possible with previous networks.

Such high speed connectivity solutions facilitate global market players like Continental to provide the domestic market with advanced driver assistance technologies that can be paired with V2V communications. For instance, the camera that detects new roads, new traffic signs, potholes, diversions and blockades etc, feeds the new map data to solution like eHorizon, which provides a preview of the road ahead to other control units in the vehicle enabling fuel savings in form of predictive cruise and transmission control, safety improvement such as lane departure warning and Predictive ESC (electronic stability control). Acting as a virtual sensor, eHorizon provides a friction map based on estimated friction values as well as on predicted road surface conditions and warn the driver and intervene before a vehicle velocity is likely to cause a stability critical situation. eHorizon calculates the route preview based on highly accurate map data and dynamic information for the current vehicle position. The data is made available for other vehicles on the network too.

A move towards‘Holistic Connectivity',where embedded systems inside the vehicle(e.g. High performance computing, gateways or sensors) and systems outside the vehicle(e.g. edge computing, cloud) interact more efficiently to achieve advanced levels of autonomous driving capabilities.

Newer Innovations The major research and development disciplines in smart sensor technology, artificial intelligence, and systems integration are fast pushing the envelope of connected vehicle technology.

Innovations like ‘Intelligent Intersections'and Intelligent Street Lamps, which will then be equipped with a range of sensors and roadside units for infrastructure-to-vehicle communication(I2V), enabling vehicles and infrastructure to exchange data. This technology can, for example, warn the driver of hidden pedestrians or other vulnerable road users when turning. With increasing awareness coupled with the right solution & progress in infrastructure facilities, full-fledged usage of such advanced technologies on India roads is not a distant dream.